Diamonds May Help Treat Cancer

Oct 07, 2008
A new material made of small fragments of diamonds may become a new breakthrough solution in cancer treatment.

The researchers at Northwestern University developed a patch made of nanodiamonds, tiny bits of diamonds consisting of few groups of carbon atoms that will be used to deliver chemotherapy drugs more effectively.

The researchers placed nanodiamonds with chemotherapy drug doxorubicin between layers of polymer films to make a patch. Due to the small size of diamonds bits, the material is compatible with the tissues of the body, while the high surface area allows better delivery of the drugs. The previous studies showed that nanodiamonds have anti-inflammatory properties. The flexible patch will be able to carry the drug to a certain area where cancer cells remain, that can reduce drug's side effects.

The study findings showed that the nanodiamonds patch released the chemotherapy drug slowly and evenly over time. This positive effect will be used to improve chemotherapy to reduce side effects from this kind of treatment.